If you’re not selling cloud solutions, you’re selling obsolescence.
Let’s start with a nice hard number from Forbes: “Spending on cloud computing infrastructure and platforms is expected to grow at a 30% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) from 2013 through 2018 compared with 5% growth for the overall enterprise IT.” And, “42% of IT decision makers are planning to increase spending on cloud computing in 2015.”
Put more simply—the cloud is where information technology is moving. It’s what your customers want to buy, it’s where vendors are investing their development efforts, and it’s where both vendors and customers want to store their business data. When even a titan of installed software like Microsoft’s CEO declares that his company is “mobile first, cloud first,” you can rest assured that the cloud is the future.
The cloud is where information technology is moving. It’s what businesses are buying and where vendors are investing their development efforts. It’s where business data is being shared and stored. When a titan of installed software like Microsoft’s CEO declares that his company is “mobile first, cloud first,” you can conclude that the cloud is the future.
But “the cloud” and “SaaS” are not the same thing. The cloud simply means centralized services and infrastructure accessed via the Internet. Software as a Service (SaaS) means replacing local applications with apps delivered via a web browser. Back to Forbes, “by 2018, 59 percent of the total cloud workloads will be Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) workloads, up from 41 percent in 2013.”
The biggest part of the growth in cloud computing is, and will be, in SaaS applications. Packaged software for the end user is becoming a niche market. That’s why information technology as a whole is moving to the cloud in general, and SaaS specifically. So what does this mean for Managed Service Providers like you?
SaaS Scales Small to Large (Just Like You): The ideal customer for the average MSP is a business that is large enough to need sophisticated, professional information technology, but lean (not small, lean) enough that it does not wish to hire full-time in-house IT professionals to handle one or more core technology functions. You can scale solutions like Salesforce and Google Apps to businesses large and small means you can maintain these solutions for your customers as they grow, and can cross-sell these solutions to customers of any size. SaaS is never too big or too small for your customer; it’s always just right.
SaaS Gives Centralized Control: SaaS applications are designed to be managed by, at minimum, a single administrator operating through a web interface, which means SaaS apps have centralized account control as part of their core design. Moreover, nearly every SaaS solution is designed to be part of a larger ecosystem: Google Apps and Office 365 have their Marketplaces; Salesforce has its AppExchange, NetSuite has its SuiteApps. And each of these platforms give administrators the ability to install, remove, configure and control access to these apps from one place.
SaaS Offers a Monthly Touch Point: While many MSPs send monthly invoices for their retained services, for customers using only on-premise systems, these documents don’t often change after the initial installation and configuration. Unless a server crashes, a laptop is stolen or the customer asks for a major upgrade, invoices are paid as a matter of course with little customer review. That’s great for maintaining an MSP’s cash flow, but not so great for growing it.
For more information on how SaaS apps makes you more flexible, more price-competitive and, more secure, download our eBook: Cloud Sales Made MSPeasy.